Atletico Madrid have enquired over availability of William Saliba’ as future of the French international defender at Arsenal grows more uncertain.
Interest in Arsenal’s on-loan centre back William Saliba is growing, with Diego Simeone a fan of the French international and said to be keen to bring him on board at Atletico Madrid according to reports.
Having joined the Gunners for £27m from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2019, Saliba has yet to make a competitive first-team appearance for the club and has been coy on whether his future lies with the north London side or elsewhere.
Ahead of ‘Classique’ with PSG in Paris on Sunday, Saliba said it was ‘thanks to Marseille’ that he had received his first French call up and there was a ‘chance’ he could remain with the club.
He said: ‘There is always a chance. I do not hide that I am very happy in Marseille.
‘I have developed, I have passed a milestone. If I make it into France’s squad it’s thanks to Marseille, because there is a lot of visibility.
‘They are a very big club with a lot of pressure, but when you’re good there are a lot of good things that happen to you.
‘We will see in May or June depending on the discussions. Today, my future, I don’t know what it is.’
Marseille are also one of the teams looking to prize away William Saliba from Arsenal in the summer after Marseille president Pablo Longoria has announced his intentions to sign the young defender on a permanent basis in the summer.
“It’s a three-way question. For the club that owns the player, Arsenal, the player and Marseille,” Longoria told Le10Sport when speaking about the possibility of signing Saliba, who has two years left on his current deal in north London.
“We have to see our possibilities. He is very happy here, we are very satisfied with his performance. William is one of the best young defenders I have seen in my career. After all, everything depends on the three parties. It’s a matter of market value. But we have extraordinary relations with Arsenal.”
Saliba, who has impressed on his season-long loan at Marseille, received an international call up to the French squad last month and is pushing for a place in France squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
And Saliba knows that if he is to keep his place in the squad he will need to keep playing regular first-team football, which means he may need to break-up Ben White’s impressive defensive partnership with Gabriel when he returns to Arsenal this summer.